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brought the divine judgments upon them; and they have been reduced and destroyed in all ages by famine, pestilence, and poverty, and innumerable calamities and evil occurrents; so that by far the greatest part of the earth remains yet unsubdued, and lies waste without inhabitants; and where it has been most subdued and cultivated and populous it has been, and still is, far from being filled with inhabitants, so that it could support no more, except in a very few instances, if in any. An exact calculation cannot be made; but it is presumed that every man who considers the things which have been mentioned above will be sensible that this earth may be made capable of sustaining thousands to one of mankind who now inhabit it; so that if each one were multiplied to many thousands, the earth would not be more than filled, and all might have ample provision for their sustenance, convenience, and comfort. This will not take place so long as the world of mankind continue to exercise so much selfishness, unrighteousness, and impiety as they do now and always have done; but there is reason to think they will be greatly diminished, by their destroying themselves and one another, and by remarkable divine judgments, which will be particularly considered in a following section.
But when the millennium shall begin, the inhabitants which shall then be on the earth will be disposed to obey the divine command to subdue the earth, and multiply until they have filled it; and they will have skill, and be under all desirable advantages to do it, and the earth will be soon replenished with inhabitants, and be brought to a state of high cultivation and improvement in every part of it, and will bring forth abundantly for the full supply of all; and there will be many thousand times more people than ever existed before at once in the world. Then the following prophecy, which relates to that day, shall be fulfilled: “ A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation. I the Lord will hasten it in his time.” (Isa. Lx. 22.) And there is reason to think the earth will be then, in some degree, enlarged in more ways than can now be mentioned or thought of. In many thousands, hundred of thousands, yea, millions of instances, large tracts now covered with water, coves, and arms of the sea, may be drained, or the water shut out by banks and walls, so that hundreds of millions of persons may live on those places and be sustained by the produce of them, which are now overflowed with water. Who can doubt of this, who recollects how many millions of people now inhabit Holland and the Low Countries, the greatest part of which was once covered with the sea, or thought not to be capable of improvement? Other instances might be mentioned.
Though there will be so many millions of millions of people on the earth at the same time, this will not be the least inconvenience to any, but the contrary; for each one will be fully supplied with all he wants, and they will all be united in love, as brethren of one family, and will be mutual helps and blessings to each other. They will die, or, rather, fall asleep, and pass into the invisible world, and others will come on the stage in their room. But death then will not be attended with the same calamitous and terrible circumstances as it has been and is now, and will not be considered as an evil. It will not be brought on with long and painful sickness, or be accompanied with any great distress of body or mind. They will be in all respects ready for it, and welcome it with the greatest comfort and joy. Every one will die at the time and in the manner which will be best for him and all with whom he is connected; and death will not bring distress on surviving relatives and friends; and they will rather rejoice than mourn, while they have a lively sense of the wisdom and goodness of the will of God, and of the greater happiness of the invisible world to which their beloved friends are gone,
and where they expect soon to arrive. So that, in that day, death will in a great measure lose his sting, and have the appearance of a friend, and be welcomed by all as such.
3. In the millennium, all will probably speak one language ; so that one language shall be known and understood all over the world, when it shall be filled with inbabitants innumerable.
The whole earth was once and originally of one language, and of one speech. (Gen. xi. 1, 6.) And the folly and rebellion of men was the occasion of their being confounded in speaking and understanding this one language, and the introduction of a variety of languages. This was considered as in itself a great calamity, and was ordered as such, and it can be considered in no other light. Had men been disposed to improve the advantages of all speaking and understanding one language to wise and good purposes, this diversity never would have taken place; and when men shall become universally pious, virtuous, and benevolent, and be disposed to use such an advantage and blessing, as having one speech and language will be for the glory of God and the general good, it will doubtless be restored to them again. This may easily and soon be done, without a miracle, when mankind and the state of the world shall be ripe for it. When they shall all become as one family in affection, and discerning and wisdom shall preside and govern in all their affairs, they will soon be sensible of the great disadvantage of being divided into so many different tongues, which will greatly impede that uni
versal free intercourse which will be very desirable, and of the advantage of all speaking and using one language. And God may so order things in his providence that it will then be easy for the most learned and wise to determine which is the best language to be adopted to be universally taught and spoken; and when this shall be once determined, and published through the world by those who are acknowledged to be the wisest men, and best able to fix upon a language that shall be universal, and have a right to do it, all will freely consent to the proposal; and that language will be taught in all schools, and used in public writings and books that shall be printed, and, in a few years, will become the common language, understood and spoken by all, and all or most of the different languages now in the world will be forgotten and lost. All the learning and knowledge of former ages contained in books in different languages worth preserving will be introduced and published in the universal language, and communicated to all. This will, in a great measure, supersede and render useless the great expense of time, toil, and money which is now bestowed on teaching and studying what are called the learned languages. Many thousands, if not millions, of youths are now consuming years in learning these languages, at great expense of money, and thousands of teachers are spending their lives in attending to them. It is thought by many now that this is a useless and imprudent waste of time and money, in most instances, at least; it will appear to be much more so when there shall be one universal language, which shall be understood and spoken by all, and when the books written in that language shall contain all the useful learning and knowledge in the world, and all further improvements will be communicated to the world in that language.
And when this language shall be established and become aniversal, all the learning and wisdom in the world will tend and serve to improve it, and render it more and more perfect; and there can be no doubt that such improvements will be made that persons will be able to communicate their ideas with more ease and precision, and with less ambiguity and danger of being misunderstood, than could be done before.
And ways will be invented to learn children to read this language with propriety, and to spell and write it with correctness, with more ease, and in much less time than it is now done, and with little labor and cost. And ways may be invented, perhaps something like the short hands which are now used by many, by which they will be able to communicate their ideas, and hold intercourse and correspondence with each other who live in different parts of the world, with much less expense of time and labor, perhaps a hundred times less, than that with which men now correspond.
This will also greatly facilitate the spreading useful knowledge, and all kinds of intelligence which may be a benefit to mankind, to all parts of the world, and render books very cheap and easy to be obtained by all. There will then be no need of translations into other languages, and numerous new impressions, in order to have the most useful books read by all. Many hundreds of thousands of copies may be cast of by one impression, and spread over all the earth. And the Bible, one of which, at least, every person will have, by printing such a vast number of them at one impression may be afforded much cheaper than it can be now, even though it should be supposed that no improvement will be made in the art of printing and making paper, which cannot be reasonably supposed; but the contrary is much more probable, viz., that both these will then be performed in a better manner, and. with much less labor and expense, than they are now executed. None can doubt of this who consider what improvements have been made in these arts since they were first invented.
This universality of language will tend to cement the world of mankind so as to make them one in a higher degree, and to greater advantage, than otherwise could be. This will absorb the distinctions that are now kept up between nations speaking different languages, and promote a general, free communication. It is observed when there was but one language in the world, that the people were one. (Gen. xi. 6.) And this will greatly facilitate their united exertions to effect whatever may be for the public good.
Therefore, since there will be so many and great advantages in having one universal language, understood and used by all mankind, and it will answer so many good purposes, when men shall be disposed to make a right improvement of it, and since it may be so easily effected when men shall be united in piety and benevolence, and wisdom shall reign among them, there is reason to think that God will so order things in his providence, and so influence and turn the hearts of mankind, as in the most agreeable manner to introduce the best language, to be adopted and used by all in that day, in which great and peculiar favor and blessings will be granted to the world, far beyond those which had been given in preceding ages. And this is agreeable to the Scripture, which speaks of that day as distinguished and remarkable for the union and happiness of mankind, when they shall have one heart and one way; and this seems to be expressly pre
dicted. When speaking of that time it is said, “ Then will i turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.” (Zeph. iii. 9.) These words have been understood in another sense; but the most natural and consistent meaning seems to be, that the people shall not then have a mixed language, speaking with different tongues, which would naturally separate them into different parties, and render them barbarians to each other in their worship; but God will so order things at that time that one language shall be introduced and spoken by all, — and which shall be more perfect, elegant, and pure, free from those defects, inconsistencies, and that jargon which before attended all or most languages, - that they may all, even all mankind, call upon the name of the Lord with one voice, and in one language, to serve him with one consent; by which they shall be united in worship and divine service, not only in heart, but in lip, as mankind never were before.
4. The church of Christ will then be formed and regulated, according to his laws and institutions, in the most beautiful and pleasing order.
This is implied in what has been said, but is worthy of a more particular attention. There will then be but one universal catholic church, comprehending all the inhabitants of the world, formed into numerous particular societies and congregations, as shall be most convenient, to attend on public worship and the institutions of Christ. There will be no schisms in the church then; Christians will not be divided into various sects and denominations, but there will be a beautiful and happy union in sentiment respecting the doctrines, worship, and institutions of Christ, and all will be of one heart and one way, and serve Christ with one consent. The ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper, and all the institutions of Christ, will be attended in due order, with solemnity and decency, and, being accompanied with divine efficacy, will have their proper and saving effect. All the children will be members of the church, having the initiating seal applied to them, and being solemnly devoted to Christ in baptism; and they will be faithfully brought up for him, and early discover their love to Christ not only in words, but by obeying him and attending upon all his institutions. The discipline which Christ has instituted will be faithfully practised so far as there shall be any occasion; and Christians, by watching over each other in love, and exhorting and admonishing one another, will prevent, or immediately heal, all offences. In those respects, and in others not here mentioned, and perhaps not thought of, the church of Christ will then be